Louis Vuitton presented their “Message in a Bottle” collection at a port in Shanghai for Spring Summer 2021, following their digital project “The Adventures of Zooooom with Friends” during Paris Mens Fashion Week.
The entire collection is released in a voyage from Paris to Shanghai, and finally in Tokyo, starting in July through the end of 2020. Perhaps more importantly, it also introduces a multi-faceted upcycling initiative across Abloh’s creative platform.
From the maison’s ancestral home outside of Paris, the colorful crew of animated characters have traveled in shipping containers all the way to Shanghai and the men’s runway show unfolds. The format of the show demonstrates Abloh’s core values of diversity, inclusivity and unity. He embraces the global community of Louis Vuitton and meets his clients in their own part of the world. Throughout the voyage—which may add destinations along the way—the collection will transform in an evolving exchange across cultures and nations. Hopefully, it will translate as a free and inclusive dialog between the house and its audiences, which transcends the traditional rules of fashion and seasonality.
The collection, again, explores Abloh’s ongoing theme of boyhood, to see the world through the eyes of a child. Each different to the others, the puppets represent the fundamental belief in inclusivity embedded within the men’s collection. In the show’s notes, Abloh stated his manifesto, as a black man in a French luxury house, hoping to lead by example and unlock the door for future generations. “This is my invitation to move forward together with awareness, hope, and determination. You are witnessing unapologetic Black Imagination on display.”
For the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2021 voyage, Abloh visualizes a place where value looks different to the status quo. He introduces an alternative to a rational world view, then the show slips into a figurative state of hypnosis where value is in the eye of the beholder. Hypnovisualism: the idea of encouraging unity and compassion through mesmerizing displays of theater. It is a parade for the mind that liberates you from preconceived notions of human and material worth, from questions of “high or low,” “old or now” or “black or white.” Truth is subjectivity. “Let your imagination run riot,” says Abloh.
As someone who has influence in his contribution to black culture and art, Abloh’s work also think about his environmental impact. He introduces a number of upcycling initiatives divided into four categories: pieces upcycled from recycling materials from overstock, pieces upcycled from recycled ideas, pieces upcycled through reiteration from the previous season and pieces upcycled as part of the “Homework” initiatives.
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